UCaaS is the delivery of communications and collaboration applications and services through a third-party provider over an IP network, usually the public Internet. In the beginning, UCaaS was synonymous with voice services and seen almost exclusively as a replacement for traditional phone services. However, UCaaS has since became an umbrella term for a suite of business communication solutions: phone, email, voicemail and messaging.
UCaaS has developed from strictly communications into a broader collaboration and productivity tool in a relatively short time. This transformation has added significant value for customers and greatly increased sales opportunities for partners.
While UCaaS includes a wide variety of solutions, its evolution has created more ways for customers to improve their user experiences and increase organizational efficiencies. The growing number of integrations provides partners with new ways to approach customers who have been reluctant to move to the cloud and allows for expansion upon the services of those who have already made the move..
Contact center as a service (CCaaS) is a framework for contact center infrastructure management that combines the principles of contact center hosting and cloud-based contact center infrastructure. With CCaaS, companies can be more flexible and agile. Furthermore, they can pay less for assets whose usage may vary between peak- and low-demand loads.
With CCaaS models, companies may use software subscriptions -- software as a service, or SaaS -- and rent hardware assets from a provider, rather than own the assets themselves. This enables companies to enlist a pay-as-you-go model to get the resources they need, as demand increases or decreases. Companies may opt to rent infrastructure or buy their own and have a CCaaS provider maintain it for them. Some companies may employ a combination of owned and managed infrastructure -- often referred to as a hybrid model.
The popularity of cloud-based contact centers has been growing. According to Gartner, over 50% of contact centers deployed in 2020 will be through a CCaaS model. In a Nemertes Research Group customer engagement research study of 518 companies, CCaaS providers were rated higher in all areas by customers than services using on-premises and hybrid architectures. Areas evaluated included technology features, account team performance and analytics.
Benefits of using a UC service model include those inherent to cloud deployment strategies, as well as flexibility in contact center functionalities.